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Team will take it slow with a recovering Hill

By JAMAL THALJI

© St. Petersburg Times, published October 3, 2000


ORLANDO -- It was the question on everyone's mind at Monday's media day session: Is Grant Hill's surgically repaired left ankle on his mind?

He will play his first season for the Magic with five screws and a plate beneath the scar on his ankle. He fractured it in Game2 of the Detroit-Miami playoff series last season.

The 6-foot-8, 225-pound forward said his rehabilitation has gone well. He has been working on speed and agility with his new teammates, played some five-on-five and will be monitored closely by the medical staff when camp opens today at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville.

Mentally, Hill said he doesn't favor the ankle and is ready to return to form. Physically, however, the decision is not entirely up to him. He could be asked to sit and rest during training camp.

"The doctor feels we should be cautious and somewhat conservative and bring me along slowly, whereas I want to go out and do it all," he said. "Even this month, (they've) told me get off the court, come over here and ice it and sit down. They'll kind of be my conscience and definitely monitor me. "But I want to get out there and run and I want to feel that soreness that you typically feel during training camp."

MUST SEE TV: Forward Tracy McGrady said he knew the Magic had entered the big time when Orlando was scheduled to play at Indiana on Dec. 25, a nationally televised showcase game on NBC.

"I was looking over the schedule the other day, I saw we're playing on Christmas, that means we've finally arrived," he said. "We're finally going to get the recognition we deserve on national television."

MUST NOT SEE TV: Asked if he had watched his fellow NBA All-Stars win a gold medal at the Sydney Olympics, Hill sheepishly admitted that was the one sport he had not watched.

"Honestly, I didn't see them play," he said. "All I kept seeing was swimming and a lot of Marion Jones, Michael (Johnson) and Maurice Greene."

Magic preseason OCTOBER

10 -- Atlanta, 7:30 p.m.

13 -- Detroit (at Ice Palace), 7:30 p.m.

14 -- Detroit, 7:30 p.m.

17 -- New Jersey, 7:30 p.m.

18 -- at Atlanta, 7:30 p.m.

23 -- Boston, 7:30 p.m.

24 -- at Miami, 7:30 p.m.

27 -- at Boston, 7:30 p.m.

Key dates

(All times and dates are tentative)

Today -- Training camp opens at the University of North Florida Arena in south Jacksonville.

Wednesday -- Two-a-day practices, from 10 a.m. to noon and 5-7 p.m.

Thursday -- Two-a-day practices, from 10 a.m. to noon and 5-7 p.m.

Friday -- Two-a-day practices, from 10 a.m. to noon and 5-7 p.m.

Saturday -- Practice from 10 a.m. to noon; scrimmage at 6 p.m.

Sunday -- Practice from 10 a.m. to noon. Camp ends.

Oct. 31 -- Regular season begins vs. Washington.

Preseason tickets are on sale at the TD Waterhouse Centre in Orlando and Ticketmaster outlets. See http://www.ticketmaster.com or call Ticketmaster at (407) 839-3900. The team number is (407) 896-2442. Regular-season tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Saturday.

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